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Philadelphia Fire Department Investigates Texting EMT

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said Wednesday that he had launched an investigation into a video of an ambulance driver texting while driving.

The video, posted by 6ABC, was taken by Ebony Clarke, who was in the ambulance with her son en route to a hospital for a head injury last month, the station reported. Sawyer said the department learned of the video through the TV station.

He said he was “shocked” by the video.

6ABC: Philly mom: Ambulance driver texting while driving son


“Not only is [texting while driving] against department policy, but it’s against Pennsylvania state vehicle codes,” he said. “I’ve never seen someone transporting a patient and texting while they’re driving. I think that’s kind of crazy.”

Sawyer said he had not spoken to Clarke but wanted to publicly apologize to her. “I know that had to be frustrating for her to experience,” he said.

Fire union president Andy Thomas said that the union “does not support the use of cellphones or texting while operating any vehicle.”

But he said that he needed to review the incident before making a final decision on the “alleged conduct” of the ambulance driver, who has not been identified by the deparment.

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